Man Charged With Manslaughter in Crash That Killed Arlington Teen

Blake Cowan is charged with manslaughter, a felony, in an Arlington crash that claimed the life of 18-year-old Alexis Butler.

Police say the 31-year-old initially told officers that the November 10 crash occurred because he had taken his eyes off the road for about four or five seconds because he was blowing into his court-ordered ignition interlock device while driving.

However, according to a new interview with police in which Cowan’s attorney was present, Cowan told police he had been alerted by his interlock device that a sample was required.

He stated that he then provided a breath sample while traveling eastbound on Gentle Springs Road and completed providing the sample while stopped at a stop sign, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Once he had finished providing the sample, he placed the interlock device in his ashtray for ease of access in the future.

As he drove along Redstone Drive, Cowan alleges the interlock device fell into the floor board of his vehicle. He bent down to retrieve the interlock device and was unable to see the roadway.

When Cowan returned his attention to the roadway, he says he saw Butler’s car sitting stationary across both lanes of traffic and he crashed into her passenger side.

Butler had reportedly been backing out of a driveway when the crash occurred.

The 18-year-old died of her injuries one week after the crash.

Cowan is accused of driving approximately 60 miles an hour along the 3700 block of Redstone Drive where the posted speed limit is 30.

That section of roadway is a narrow, two-lane residential road without shoulders and is poorly lit, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Police say Cowan was not impaired at the time of the crash.

He told police he was required to provide a breath sample every 15 minutes or so on his court-ordered ignition interlock device.

Cowan ought to have known his driving actions created an unjustifiable risk of causing a vehicle crash that could result in another’s death, according to the affidavit.

Cowan has been released from jail after posting bond.

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